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Are hospitals prepared to handle record COVID-19 hospitalizations?

A hospital's COVID-19 unit, 2021.jpg
Posted at 3:28 PM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 18:19:07-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — In just two days, Florida COVID-19 hospital admissions have shot up by nearly 1,000 patients, breaking a record with 11,515 admissions on Monday alone.

New data from from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also shows that 2,400 of those patients are in ICU beds.

Hospital admissions related to COVID-19 are increasing in Palm Beach County and are up in every one of our local counties except Martin and Indian River counties, which have actually had new COVID hospital admissions decrease in the last seven days, according to CDC data.

There’s no doubt that this summer, frontline health care workers are better prepared for COVID-19 hospitalizations.

"We are more trained we are more experienced so, the ways we move patients are very efficient," said Dr. Olayemi Osiyemi, an infectious disease specialist at Triple O Medical Services in West Palm Beach.

CDC data shows COVID-19 makes up 25% of ICU hospital bed use in Palm Beach County and is increasing, but Osiyemi said it’s important to note that these patients are in special COVID units.

"Pretty much now every hospital has those units reopened again to accommodate the volume," Osiyemi said.

In comparison to Miami-Dade and Broward counties, Palm Beach County overall has fewer new hospital admissions related to COVID-19, but they increased by 22% in the last seven days at a higher rate than Miami-Dade’s increase of 19% and Broward’s at 15%.

Osiyemi believes local hospitals are prepared to deal with the current surge. But what happens if cases continue to climb?

"I think we are going to be able to do a good job, obviously we’d like to slow down the rate because we don’t want this increase to outpace the ability to accommodate," Osiyemi said.